29 Apr 2021

We were delighted to welcome more than 100 people to our virtual awards ceremony on Thursday 29 April.

BDA Chair, Caroline Bovey oversaw the evening. As well as thanking our attendees, both the BDA Roll of Honour and COVID-19 Community Heroes were also acknowledged and celebrated.

Caroline Bovey, BDA Chair said: "The BDA awards ceremony is the social event of the Association year. We were so sorry not to be able to run in 2020 but delighted that we are now in a position to celebrate the achievements of so many of our members – and what a lot we have to celebrate, as well as be thankful for."

Dr Giles Yeo, BDA Honorary President hosted the evening, presenting the 14 awards and honours to the winners.

Click below to skip straight to an award.

BDA awards celebrate outstanding individuals within the dietetic profession. This year we wanted to recognise a fuller range of dietetic achievements and are proud to present three new awards:  

Digital Innovation Award

To recognise outstanding achievements in integrating technology into dietetic practice.

Shortlisted for the Award:

  • Lisa De‘ath for Family food first
  • Professor Kevin Whelan for FODMAP by FM

Winner: Professor Kevin Whelan from King’s College London for:

The judging panel said: "The creation of the Low FODMAP Diet app, FODMAP by FM, defines digital innovation. Maximising patient care and complementing dietetic delivery. The app features are fantastic, especially the bar scanner, having a great outcome and impact to those who use it."

Student Champion Award

Supported by Yakult, this award celebrates a student who has contributed over and above the requirements of their course to promote the dietetic profession.

Shortlisted for the Award:

  • Jennifer Borthwick from University of Nottingham
  • Elaine Penman from Glasgow Caledonian University

Winner: Elaine Penman

Marian Cunningham, who nominated Elaine, said: "Elaine is a passionate student, actively involved with the BDA and her university. She also contributed to the development of Glasgow Caledonian University's very own sustainable cookbook 'The Sustainable Food ABC Cookbook'."

Rising Star Award

To recognise a rising star who has been in dietetics for 10 years or less, and has achieved a significant impact in the profession in the early stages of their careers.

Winner: Dr Sammie Gill

The judging panel said: "Sammie has made a significant contribution to the profession and to dietetics since she qualified. Her focus on gastro conditions as her specialism has resulted in her helping IBS patients but has also ensured that the twin role of dietitians as clinicians and researchers is a priority."

General Education Trust Awards

The General Education Trust Fund has a long history of supporting the science and practice of dietetics through the promotion of national awards which recognise the excellent work carried out by many BDA members, from publishing original research work, through to innovation in practice and educational resources.

Dame Barbara Clayton Award

for dietetic innovation

Awarded to: Luise Marino, University Hospital Southampton for:

A quality improvement project (QIP) to improving growth in infants with congenital heart disease before surgery – the development and implementation of a consensus based pre-surgical nutritional pathway into a paediatric cardiology service.

Elizabeth Washington Award

for a published/presented educational work

Awarded to: Eirini Dimidi and Selina Cox from King’s College London for:

Fermented Foods: Definitions and Characteristics, Impact on the Gut Microbiota and Effects on Gastrointestinal Health and Disease.

Rose Simmonds Award

for a published piece of work in a peer reviewed journal

Awarded to: Danielle Bear from Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust for:

b-Hydroxy-b-methylbutyrate and its impact on skeletal muscle mass and physical function in clinical practice: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

Volunteer Awards

Our volunteer awards provide the BDA the opportunity to recognise a member or group who have made an outstanding contribution to the work of the association.

Ambassador of the Year

Our ambassadors work with governments, parliaments and assemblies, organisations, charities and professional bodies to represent the BDA, influence policy and advocate for dietetics. This award recognises an ambassador who went above and beyond in that role.

Awarded to: Hilda Mulrooney

The judging panel said: "Hilda Mulrooney has been a key ambassador for the BDA in a whole range of areas for many years, so this award is not only for 2019/20 but many years of amazing work on behalf of the Association. Hilda always brings expertise and commitment to everything she does on behalf of the profession."

The Mary Turner Award

BDA trade union reps stand up for our members and dietetics. Our former President Mary Turner understood the importance of the Trade Union Rep role. The Mary Turner Award recognises excellence and commitment in our trade union representatives.

Jointly awarded to: Suzanne Wong & Diana Markham

The judging panel said: "Both Diana and Suzanne have supported members as a BDA Trade Union Representative for many years. They have supported members with complicated personal cases and supported members as the trusts have gone through complicated mergers and restructures."

Media Spokesperson of the Year

Our media presence and influence continues to increase through our volunteer media spokespeople who offer evidence-based nutritional information across TV, radio, digital and print media. This award recognises someone who has shown great commitment to this work.

Shortlisted for the Award:

  • Aisling Pigott
  • Bahee Van der Bor

Winner: Aisling Pigott

The judging panel said: "Aisling has made an outstanding contribution to our work raising the profile of dietitians in the press as the experts on nutrition. She has consistently gone above and beyond to ensure we have been able to deliver dietetic comment in print, online and on TV & radio, even on the tightest of deadlines, as well as being a regular valued contributor to our member magazine."

BDA PEN® Achiever Award

This is a new award for this year, recognising a member that has made an outstanding contribution to the PEN® system throughout the year.

Awarded to: Sue Acreman

The judging panel said: "Sue has been awarded the PEN Achiever Award in acknowledgement of her continued commitment to supporting PEN. In 2019/2020 Sue contributed to numerous review topics including Rheumatoid Arthritis, Cancer - Nutritional Implications of Treatment and Endocrine and Metabolic - Thyroid."

Branch of the Year

Our 13 branches are our regional support and development network. They are vital, providing members with CPD events and opportunities to network, learn and share best practice with their dietetic peers at a local level. This annual award recognises one branch which has typified excellence and best practice in their region.

Awarded to: Glasgow and West Scotland Branch

The judging panel said: "The Glasgow and West of Scotland committee have demonstrated dedication to focusing on not only what their members want but what they need from their branch. The committee has focused on building a culture of inclusivity and fair representation, offering members a multitude of ways to get involved with their branch across a wide region.

"They have taken a dedicated approach to promote Scottish dietetics and Scottish dietitians which has led to some excellent collaborations, representing the BDA both in the UK and internationally."

Specialist Group of the Year supported by Quorn

Each specialist group makes a unique and significant contribution to the BDA’s external work, offering the most current information, leadership and expertise to BDA members working or specialising in a professional area. This annual award recognises one specialist group which has demonstrated outstanding leadership and innovation in their specialist area.

Jointly awarded to: Critical Care Specialist Group & Paediatric Specialist Group

The judging panel said: "The Critical Care Specialist Group have demonstrated a commitment to not only listening to their members but providing what they need in terms of guidance, professional development and community. Their achievements over the year have been not only essential but extraordinary and their engagement with members, stakeholders and the wider BDA has been vital. The committee has supported their members and produced guidance and tools that will impact the wider profession and dietetic roles for many years to come.

"The Paediatric Group Committee have completed and disseminated an impressive selection of resources, consultations and research, all of which will have an immediate and lasting impact upon patients and the dietetic profession. The committee have worked closely with the BDA and other stakeholder organisations to promote, guide and support paediatric dietetics. Their commitment to collaboration has proved a valuable asset, allowing them to lead the way in influencing, lobbying and consulting."

BDA Honours

It is so important to thank our colleagues when they make a difference. The BDA Honours recognise and reward members who go above and beyond, inspire others and are making a real difference to the profession. 

This year we presented eight Ibex honours.

  • Melanie Baker has dedicated an enormous amount of personal time over the years to PENG and the BDA, she is an innovative dietitian who is passionate about the dietetic profession. 
  • Sue Brierley-Hobson has made a significant contribution to dietetics since 2007, within her local dietetics in North Wales and Critical Care Specialist Group, encouraging her team to get involved with the BDA at all levels.
  • Elaine Gardner has been involved in a number of pieces of work for the BDA, including developing and launching the BDA Public Health Specialist Group and a founding member of the BDA Work Ready Steering Group.
  • Chris Jarvis was a founder member and chair of the Neonatal sub-group; she developed the BDA MSc Module in neonatal and has represented the BDA and profession nationally on a number of projects. 
  • Dr Jacklyn Jones has been an active member of the PENG group for more than 20 years her contribution to the Clinical Update Course has had a significant impact on making it the success it is today.
  • Sue Perry has been involved in the Renal Nutrition Specialist Group Committee for a number of years, she has been chair, represented the group and contributed to a number of key pieces of work.
  • Peter Turner is a committee member of PENG and has engaged with a number of other specialist groups and BAPEN contributing to a number projects including the Pocket Guide revision.
  • Maria Tynan has been an active member of the BDA Northern Ireland Board for many years, contributing to a number of key pieces of work including the Safefood funded Nutrition Exchange Bursary scheme.

This year we awarded two Fellowships. Congratulations to Kate Hall and Sian Porter.

The judging panel said: "Kate has shown outstanding personal commitment to the BDA in the last 10 years and more by actively participating in BDA business and working as an advocate for the dietetic profession within industry and BAPEN. Kate has been an advocate for the dietetic profession and her leadership skills have positively contributed and influenced decision making at both BDA Council and BAPEN.  

"Sian has represented the association and profession in countless media appearances for more than 15 years. She has mentored many media spokespeople and delivered the media training course for a number of years."

The entertainment for the evening came from Dr Clare Pettinger aka The Singing Dietitian, who gave a live performance of 'The Food Fad Trifle'.

If you know someone who has made a real impact on dietetics, nominate them for a BDA Honour today!

We thank our sponsors FieldDoctor, Quorn and Yakult for their generous support.